If you are looking for ways to get rid of your pores, stop. You can’t. And you don’t want to. Besides housing hair follicles, pores provide vital gateways that allow sebum (the skin’s natural oil,) to form a protective layer on your skin’s surface.
But just because pores are important doesn’t mean they are attractive, and they’re certainly not free of downsides. Pores, after all, house more than just hair follicles. When clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and other debris, large pores are made even larger as they become inflamed and engorged with bacteria – mutating into white heads and black heads.
So it’s no wonder that many women want to know how to get rid of pores, or at least how to shrink pores so they don’t look so prominent.
The good news: there are effective treatments and skin care practices that visually minimize pores, and Redbook Mag reveals many of these pore shrinking tips, when beauty writer, Beth Shapouri, interviews some experts for the article “The Dos and Don’ts of Treating, Shrinking, and Hiding Pores.”
But to better understand the skincare treatments that can effectively minimize the appearance of pores, it’s helpful to know what makes large pores in the first place.
Biological Causes of Large Pores
The most determining factor of pore size is also the most basic, and the most unavoidable, genetics. Some women are just born with larger pores. The size of the hair follicle also determines the size of the pore. And the last unavoidable factor that contributes to pore size is aging.
How Aging Causes Our Pores to Look Bigger
When you are young, your skin is plump and tight. The strength of the skin’s cellular matrix pushes tightly against pores, cinching their openings, which makes them seem tinier. As you age, the proteins responsible for keeping your skin taught and firm, collagen and elastin, begin to break down. The natural break down of collagen and elastin can cause all sorts of havoc on our complexion. Wrinkles, fine lines, and loose, sagging skin are the most recognized consequences of aging. But the breakdown of fortifying proteins also allows gravity to have a stronger pull on your skin’s surface, essentially distending your pores, stretching them out into a more noticeable, oval shaped gape.
Environmental Factors that Cause Large Pores
After the biological factors comes the environmental factors that make pores look bigger. While the loss of collagen and elastin are unavoidable with age, there are many external elements that can speed up and intensify the rate of collagen and elastin breakdown. The biggest culprit? The sun. UV radiation has been shown to damage collagen production, a condition that’s often referred to as photoaging. Other lifestyle choices that damage collagen, such as smoking will enlarge the appearance of pores.
Pores also look bigger when they become clogged with debris. The oil and dead skin cells that engorge a pore, stretches them out. So clogged pores are more noticeable.
With better knowledge of what causes pores to look bigger, we better understand the expert tips Redbook Mag provides its readers for shrinking pores.